Comcast Program to Bridge the Digital Divide
Filemon Lopez, Comcast senior VP of Strategic Operations, announced year two of Internet Essentials, a broadband adoption program designed to help close the digital divide for low-income Americans.
The program was launched Saturday at an Internet Essentials Community Connections Summit held at the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans (AAMA) Learning Center.
The Houston Area Urban League, AAMA and Crime Stoppers of Houston were among several community partners involved in the Internet Essentials program that were on hand to conduct digital literacy workshops for participants.
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Workshops included Using the Internet to Find a Job, Helping Your Child Apply for College and Keeping Kids Safe on the Internet.
Nearly 4,500 families or 18,000 people throughout the Greater Houston area have enrolled in the Internet Essentials program. In its first full year of availability, more than 100,000 families or 400,000 Americans are now online.
Comcast continues to enhance the program with new features and processes designed to accelerate enrollment in the program.
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Program participants receive:
- Residential Internet service for $9.95 a month plus applicable taxes;
- No price increases, no activation fees, or equipment rental fees;
- A voucher to purchase a low-cost computer for $149.99 plus tax; and
- Access to free digital literacy training in print, online and in-person.
A household is eligible to participate if it meets all of the following criteria:
- Is located where Comcast offers Internet service;
- Has at least one child who is eligible to receive a free or reduced school lunch under the NSLP;
- Has not subscribed to Comcast Internet service within the last 90 days;
- Does not have an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment.
Comcast will sign up eligible families in the program for at least three years, through the end of the 2013-2014 school year.
Any household that qualifies during this three-year period will remain eligible for Internet Essentials if at least one child eligible for a free or reduced lunch remains living in the household.